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Oil for a 312?

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  • Oil for a 312?

    I'm going to get the oil changed for the first time for my 1957 312. I read through the technical resource oil questionnaire and everyone that posted seems to have a 58 to 60 Tbird. Does anyone know of a reason that the 57 would like a different oil? I plan on using CenPeCo 20W-50 racing oil with additional zinc additive. I will put a KN filter in. My bird has 102000 miles on it (engine rebuild history unknown) and I will be putting it into winter storage in a couple of weeks. It will not run again until the spring.


    Thanks, Vern

  • #2
    That should be a great choice.

    This winter while your car is in storage, you can Google thousands of oil topics online and read till you are totally confused! IMO, any quality oil that contains zinc or to which you add your own zinc supplement will be fine, but that's just me.

    In prepping for storage I do recommend doing 2 things:
    1) 2 drops of oil in the cup at the side of the distributor
    2) completely loosen the steering column collar, oil the slides, and move the column fore and aft several times. Store the car with the collar loose, and re-oil in the Spring. The slides tend to seize from dirt, rust, and lack of use.

    Comment


    • #3
      If the gas has ethanol in it I also suggest you add a fuel stabilizer.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Call me goofy, but I’m a firm believer in starting and running the car to full operating temperature every month.
        I always put the automatic transmission in N so fluids circulate, then once hot, fun it through the ranges just to allow fluid to all the valves.
        I expect I’m in the minority on this, but I feel getting a car up to temp regularly USA very good thing. The goal for me is getting it got and allowing any condensation to vent off.
        Also, beware the differential. Keep the fluid fresh in those. In humid areas and areas with wide temp swings, just as in the engine and trans, condensation forms in the diff and over time, corrupts the oil.
        I see diff failures from that all the time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Those are all good suggestions. I run a 292 with Rotella 15W-40. Any oil with '40' or more in the numbers should have elevated ZDDP numbers for your flat tappets.

          The same tappets are used in ALL 'Y-Block' engines so there should be no difference in oil requirements between them. For the life of me I will never understand why Ford had three engines so close in size (272, 292, 312). They're little engines, all hovering around 300 cu. in.
          • OK, here's the big question... When did you last change your BRAKE FLUID? You bet'cha it's important. All brake fluid starts out as 'water clear'. That red color in your reservoir comes from your steel lines rusting from the INSIDE.

          Get a turkey baster from the dollar store and suck out all that fluid in the reservoir. Replace it with fresh DOT-3, then start bleeding each wheel cylinder. There's no need to drain the system if you keep topping off the reservoir. As soon as fluid runs 'clear' in each brake, you're done. The whole system only takes about a cup. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          Comment


          • #6
            Dave, it’s funny, but in all the years I ran Y-Blocks, I always ran either 15W40 or 20W50 with no regard to ZDDP. I never even knew about it. I just wanted a higher viscosity oil, and I had good luck with it.

            Good advice on the brake system. It’s often overlooked, as is the cooling system.

            Comment


            • #7
              I always ran either 15W40 or 20W50 with no regard to ZDDP.
              Zinc has been removed from oil in the last 10 years or so to help meet environmental standards - also newer roller cam engines do not need it. Many today claim it is not needed in our Y-Block engines in our limited driving use, just like hardened valve seats. For me, the additive is cheap insurance and I use it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the responses. I did not know about the steering column and it is a good idea to change out the brake fluid. I contacted Cenpeco about their oil and was told they have an abundance of zinc, 2400ppm. Glad I did not add more before talking to them. I'd like to run my car periodically, but can not do so where it is stored. I'll talk to the facility owners and see if there is something I can do about that, especially after my current issue with fuel problems in my 59 (another post).


                Vern

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joe Johnston View Post
                  Zinc has been removed from oil in the last 10 years or so to help meet environmental standards - also newer roller cam engines do not need it. Many today claim it is not needed in our Y-Block engines in our limited driving use, just like hardened valve seats. For me, the additive is cheap insurance and I use it.
                  It's true that ZDDP attacks catalytic converters and that it has been removed from MOST motor oils. However, in heavy oils, ones with 40 or more in the numbers, ZDDP has only been reduced. Other products also contain ZDDP like STP Oil Treatment. If you have a flat tappet engine, you NEED ZDDP, either included in your new oil or as an additive. ZDDP gets 'used up' as the oil gets old.

                  In my garage, I have a flat tappet cam that was wiped out from lack of ZDDP, so I'm here to tell you that ZDDP is absolutely the last chance of lubrication for a cam with flat tappets. What makes things worse for classic Ford engines is the fact that lifters don't pump oil through solid pushrods, therefore it cannot drain down to oil the cam lobes.

                  I also have pictures of a set of 390 heads with receded valves from running gasohol. I gladly gave those iron heads to my neighborhood sheeny man with hopes he could get a few bucks for the iron.

                  I replaced those heads with aluminum and I couldn't be happier.

                  Squarebirds were designed and built for fuel and oil that doesn't exist in today's retail. Therefore, our owners have retarded the timing and de-tuned the engine just to make it run half way decent.

                  It's expensive but if you want efficiency, longevity and capability of using today's common liquids, your engine needs to be rebuilt just like modern engines using modern materials. You can get 30mpg from a 352 but the engine needs EFI, lower compression ratio, hypereutectic alloy pistons with moly rings and a roller cam. Aluminum heads include hard valve seats, stainless valves and bronze guides. Aluminum transfers heat 4X faster than cast iron so all those heat issues just went away.

                  All these modern materials were not available back in the day. If we got 80-100,000 miles out of an engine back then, it was a big deal. Today, there's something wrong if an engine quits before 250,000 miles. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oil

                    I have a 55 292 I inherited 5 years ago and struggled with what oil to put in it. I called a lubricant manufacturer and asked them if they made anything and they do. I know a bunch of people that use racing oil with over 2000 ppm ZDDF the problem with that is that it can gum up things, not a problem in a racing engine that gets torn down pretty regularly. It appaers that these engines were made at a time when there was about 1600 ppm ZDDF with a bit of legwork you can find the correct oil for you engine.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      15W-40 means, 15 viscosity in WINTER, not 15-weight. With regular oil changes, I never heard of oil that 'gums up' an engine. Old oil, loaded with acids and ash will gum up (especially hydraulic lifters).

                      Back in Squarebird days, all oil was labeled, 'Motor Oil'. Detergent Oil didn't exist yet so it was all, Motor Oil. Now, we call it, 'Non-Detergent Motor Oil' and it's hard to find. Oh yeah, it contained loads of zinc and phosphorus in the form of ZDDP. As engine oil gets cycled through your engine, the ZDDP is consumed, then it's eventually gone.

                      For a while, GM sold ZDDP supplement through their dealerships. When they stopped selling it there was a 'run' that quickly sold out every case available by guys with classic cars. Flat tappets need the same ZDDP that destroys catalytic converters. Since the EPA always wins, automakers compromised by using hydraulic roller cams (with NO flat tappets). That ended the need for ZDDP.

                      Now, all the fluids your classic car was designed and built for, do not exist. Gas has no lead (needed for valves) and 10% is alcohol (that attacks carb and fuel pump parts). BTW, gasohol has lower BTUs than gasoline so more fuel is needed.

                      Is this a bad thing? Not if your engine is built to run modern fuels and lubricants. Our entire exhaust systems used to last maybe 4-5 years, tops. Spark plugs & points, 12,000 miles. The whole engine, 80,000, and valves used to load up with lead deposits if the engine wasn't 'blown out' by taking a long trip. Car body steel was thick, to withstand salty winters because factory paint was poor.

                      Not any more. But... if your classic car runs on today's liquids there needs to be supplements or longevity will suffer. - Dave
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      Comment

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